Duke's cigarettes advertising insert card, 1850-1920
Contemporary buckboard, Farmington Hills, Michigan

A buckboard is a four-wheeled wagon of simple construction meant to be drawn by a horse or other large animal. The "buckboard" is the front-most board on the wagon that could act as both a footrest for the driver and protection for the driver from the horse's rear hooves in case of a "buck". The buckboard is steered by its front wheels, which are connected by a single axle. The front and rear axle are connected by a platform of one or more boards to which the front axle is connected on a pivoting joint at its midpoint. A buckboard wagon often carries a seat for a driver. Such a seat may be supported by springs. The main platform between axles is not suspended by springs like a carriage. Made in the 18th century around the same time as carriages.

The buckboard was invented by Rev. Cyrus Comstock, a traveling preacher living in Lewis, Essex County, New York who established many churches in the surrounding area during the early 1800s.[1] [2] Originally designed for personal transportation in the Adirondack Mountains, these distinctively American vehicles were widely used in newly settled regions of the United States.[3]

Some Cyclecars e.g. the Smith Flyer were also referred to as 'Buckboard Cars'.

In the early 20th century as horse-drawn vehicles were supplanted by the motor car, the term 'buckboard' was also used in reference to a passenger car (usually a 'tourer') from which the rear body had been removed and replaced with a load-carrying bed. These home-built dual purpose passenger- and load-carrying vehicles were the precursors of the factory-built 'utility' or 'pickup truck'


  1. Royce, Caroline Halstead (1902). Bessboro: a history of Westport, Essex Co., N.Y. Open Library. p. 230.
  2. Report of the Proceedings at the Memorial Meeting in Honor of the Late Mr. Joseph Andrews, (engraver). David Clapp & Son. 1880. p. 580.
  3. "Buckboard". Wernerwagonworks.com. Retrieved 2010-12-13.

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